March 16-22, 2006
City Beat : ArticleWas It Worth It...
Daniel J. Kuhlmeier
U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations
Died: Feb. 20, 2006 in Baghdad, age 30
"He always came back with a smile, even when he lost," recounts Robert of his son, who grew up in Fox Chase. "And he was on a team that lost every game and a team that won every game."
Upon graduating from Cardinal Dougherty High School in 1993, Daniel went to Penn State University for a year. After that year at college, he decided to join the military. He served as a Marine for five years and then worked for the Army's intelligence unit, where he found his true calling.
While enlisted, Daniel earned degrees in psychology and Persian Farsi. From there, he started working on his master's. After his time in the Army, he went to work for the Air Force as a civilian.
Only a few weeks into his tour in Iraq, however, his life was cut short. The vehicle he was riding in struck an improvised explosive device (IED) while on a counterintelligence mission in Baghdad.
Robert says answering that question is not about politics or anything else, but honoring a son whose decisions he and his wife Theresa always supported.
"He believed in what he was doing and we are extremely proud of him," Robert says. No parent wants to lose their child, he says. Yet when offering an answer to the question, he adds, "Absolutely. It was worth it to him and worth it to us."